Swedish Meatballs

I think one of the highlights for most people when visiting an Ikea store aside from their furniture would be the food—particularly the Swedish meatballs. They’re so good that even my mom who normally isn’t a fan of meatballs craves them every time we go to an Ikea store abroad. They’re juicy and quite flavorful, plus the sauce or gravy makes it even better.

When Quarantine started this year, Ikea released a recipe for their famous meatballs. I’m sharing these with you, with optional additions—mostly about how I like my sauce. Unlike how it was served in Ikea with potatoes, I put mine on top of pasta, and this is why I made a couple of adjustments. If you would like these meatballs to be served with pasta include the additions to the sauce.

Choosing Your Ground Meat

In choosing the ingredients, I prefer to ask the butcher to ground meat on the spot so that I can choose my own blend. This will allow me to control the fat and lean portions of the meat and achieve the taste and texture that I would prefer. A good ratio would be 70% lean and 30% fat.

Have a good ratio between lean meat and fat. A good ratio would be 70% lean, 30% fat

Dish Pairings with the Meatballs

The meatballs are traditionally paired with mashed, boiled, or baked potatoes. However, sometimes, the meatballs are also served with pasta or egg noodles, which is also a great way to eat them.

Swedish Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 250g ground pork (Ask for 125g pork belly and 125g pork shoulder)
  • 500g ground beef (Ask for 250 grams chuck and 250 grams sirloin)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • Salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 150 ml all-purpose cream (make it 250ml if topping on pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (add 1 teaspoon for pasta sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (add 1 teaspoon for pasta sauce)
  • Optional:
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
    • Parsley for garnish
    • 350-400 grams of pasta, cooked according to instructions (preferably tagliatelle, fettuccine, or flat egg noodles)

Instructions:

Pardon my shaky hand 🤣

For the meatballs:

  1. Mix the ground pork and beef together to remove lumps.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, and mix. Add milk and season with salt and pepper. Make sure that you only mix well enough to see the ingredients to be well incorporated since over-mixing will cause the meatballs to be not as tender.
  3. Shape mixture into small, round balls. Store in a clean container in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
  4. In a pan, heat the oil under medium fire. Fry the meatballs, turning them over once they have turned brown. You don’t need to completely cook meatballs at this point.
  5. Place in a baking dish and place in the oven for under 160-180 degrees celsius and cook for 30 minutes.

For the Cream Sauce:

  1. Melt the butter and a dash of oil in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and stir for two minutes to form a roux.
  1. Combine the vegetable and beef stock in one container and add this into the butter and flour mixture little by little, continually stirring until everything is smooth.
  2. Add the all-purpose cream, mustard, and soy sauce (also garlic powder, and ½ cup of parmesan cheese, if you are adding this to pasta). Mix well under low heat.
  3. Once this is done, you can serve this on top of the meatballs and potatoes. If you will add this to pasta, combine the sauce with the pasta and meatballs and top with the remaining parmesan cheese and some parsley for garnish.

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